Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish says new signing Michael Olise has been tracked for over a year.
The midfielder arrived last month from Reading.
Parish told the club's website: “Dougie [Freedman] has done an incredible amount of work over the last 15-18 months. Obviously this situation we planned for, we knew we would have spaces in the squad. Dougie and his team have to take huge credit for bringing Michael to the club because there was a lot of competition.
“Identifying talent is one thing, but recruiting talent into the club is quite another. Obviously having spaces for players to play is very important, but it's saying the right things.
"Patrick (Vieira) was there at the end, as well, and was able to lend his considerable presence and experience to Michael. But Dougie's really got to take all the credit for that one; he's done a huge amount of work. And hopefully it's a sign of things to come."
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